Alternative medicine is any healing practice, treatment, or therapy that is not accepted by conventional medicine. Another way to define alternative medicine is that it is a treatment that has not been clinically to be effective.
And alternative medicine is controversial. Richard Dawkins put is best: “There is no alternative medicine. There is medicine that works, and medicine that doesn’t work.” Many people swear that alternative medicine is a scam designed to take your money, while their opponents claim that the conventional medical system is the scam. And the argument will continue for however long the two sides disagree so strongly.
What does alternative medicine include? Like conventional medicine, alternative medicine is actually a huge set of disciplines and techniques. Here’s a quick list of just a few of those techniques: Alternative? Complementary? Integrative? What’s the difference? If you’ve been looking into alternative medicine, you’ve likely find the terms “complementary medicine” or “integrative medicine.” Even if you haven’t yet discovered these terms, you soon will if you continue to dig deeper. Like here for example.
Complementary and integrative medicine are fundamentally the same thing. They are placed together under the acronym CAM (complementary and alternative medicine), though integrative medicine implies more professionalism. CAM is well named as it is using alternative – or unproven – treatment with proven treatments for a particular disorder. So it means using alternative therapies to complement more mainstream treatments. This is becoming more common world-wide, and more healthcare professionals are supplementing their treatments with various complementary medical treatments.
Is alternative medicine right for me? That decision is up to you, your family, and your healthcare provider. Keep in mind that much of alternative medicine is of unknown effectiveness – in some cases even dis-proven. It’s recognized as most effective for relatively minor, chronic conditions. For more serious or sudden illness, other treatment might be better. Use your common sense, and then choose the best treatment for whatever condition you want to cure, whatever that treatment might be.